Mixing Cone K3 with Epson K3 Confusion


I have 3 complete sets of Epson OEM K3 cartridges for my 3800 with leftover ink in them. I would very much like to recuperate that ink by mixing it with my Cone K3 ink for use in the IJM cartridges; Dana-IJM (Nov 20 2014) says “Yes, that’s fine and I know several customers have done this to use up their remaining Epson ink.” but Jon (Aug 16 2015) says “It is possible, but not a recommended practice. You would be creating your own chemistry at that point by mixing them in the cartridge.”

Jon, can you explain what kind of problem(s) mixing those inks might create. Is it risky or are you just being cautious ? Dana says that several customers have done so …

Thanks for your help,



Both Epson and Cone Color inks have incredibly complex chemistry. The pigments in these inks are both encapsulated so they will not agglomerate when they are put into an ink-line together, however it’s not clear if there will be a bad interaction if they hang out together in a cartridge for a long time.

If you go the route of mixing Epson and Cone Color in a cartridge, I suggest making sure you print that cartridge worth of ink in at most a two month period.



Hi Andre,

Because I am involved more directly in the chemistry/formulation than Dana is, I say we do not recommend mixing different ink chemistries together. We do not know the long term consequences of joining these two chemistries together. ‘Caution’ implies that the ink may not be as stable as it could be. ‘Risky’ implies that the two chemistries could produce unwanted compounds over time. It could be totally benign to do this as a practice. It is just not a study we have undertaken chemically nor in practice.

If you asked me what my gut feeling is - I would say its probably ‘ok’. Just don’t hold me to that if you experience gelling, banding, or separation. Those are the three immediate problems in terms of risk. Gelling you will see in the capping station and is indicative of what may happen internally if allowed to sit. Banding will be visible in the prints but not attributable to missing nozzles. Ink separation occurs in the tank and usually results in either more density or less density of pigment being printed and usually overcome by shaking the contents together again. But over time if this occurs in the ink lines, you can have sedimentary deposits in the ink lines.




Walker and Jon,
Thank you both for your quick, and obviously knowledgeable, replies to my enquiry. I will follow your recommendation “not to mix OEM inks with Cone inks”. I’m in the process of gradually replacing the OEM cartridges on my 3800 with IJM cartridges and Cone inks and so far everything is working fine, the 3800 is accepting the IJM cartridges without any problems and the printouts are identical to what I was getting with OEM inks, I’m using the same papers and profiles as before.